Three Ships Whisky has pioneered the world’s first whisky that has been finished in a cask previously used for the maturation of Pinotage. Produced by master distiller, Andy Watts, the whisky was created to capture the essence of South African heritage.
‘Whisky finishes are nothing new, but never before has a Pinotage cask ever been used. The idea first came to me in the early 2000s but back then our industry was still very young and the world wasn’t quite ready to accept such innovation from South Africa,’ said Andy Watts.
Only 3500 of the 4000 bottles that were produced, have been made available for public purchase, making this limited edition product a collector’s item. Malt and grain are first matured in an American cask, then finished for different periods in 8 casks that were used to mature Pinotage. The Pinotage varietal character is one of red berry fruit, evenly balanced by the earthiness of whisky. This ‘bottled gold’ cleans the palate with lingering hints of banana and pineapple. The flavouring is rich, complex and unique. Fifteen years of ageing have afforded this whisky with layered flavourings.
‘I had never let go of my dream, so some years later I had laid grain and malt whisky to rest in American casks for the purpose of finishing the blend in Pinotage casks. That was 15 years ago. Seems like half a lifetime has passed since then! This moment of being able to stand with the finished product in my hand is, in 25 years as a master distiller, truly the pinnacle of my career. I’m literally on cloud nine!’ said Andy Watts.
For more information on how to purchase a bottle of this whisky, please visit: threeshipswhisky.co.za